With snow falling over much of Britain today, we thought we’d give you some basic advice about driving in the white stuff.
Obviously, the best thing to do is not travel, if possible. But, we live in the real-world, so if you do have to use the car then plan your drive carefully. Consider where you are heading and what the roads will be like on the journey. Try to avoid motoring on back roads as these are far less likely to have seen a council gritter.
Clear Snow From Car
Before driving away, get rid of the snow and ice from your car windows and mirrors. Brush off heavy snow on the roof of your vehicle and its bonnet too, as it can slide or blow onto the windscreen.
Keep In Higher Gear
Start your vehicle from stationary and don’t rev the engine. If the roads are icy and you drive a car with a manual transmission, then you should drive away slowly in second gear, not first gear. You should keep in a higher gear to prevent your wheels spinning.
Keep Speed Steady
It is vital you get your speed right when driving in snow. Never drive so quickly that you risk losing control of your car, and don’t drive so sluggishly that you don’t have enough momentum to get up a hill.
Increase your distance from the car in front. It could take 10 times longer to stop in snow or on ice.
Slow Into Bends
Ensure you slow down before a corner so you have time to react to any dangers that appear as you navigate it. You should have finished slowing your speed before you begin to turn the steering wheel.
If your vehicle breaks down or you have to pull over, you should leave your car and move to the safe side of it when waiting for help.
Our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, said: “People often set off with only the minimum of safety kit, without realising their trip could be lengthier than expected. You should have a torch, shovel, blanket, tow rope, jump-leads and a mobile phone at the very least.”
Food, Drink & Fuel
Tim added, “A drink and a snack may also prove worthwhile and don’t head out without knowing where fuel stations are located on your route. This all might sound like I’m trying to teach granny to suck eggs, but too many of us disregard all of this. Don’t be one of the poorly-prepared, and tune into the weather forecast for your winter journey to help you plan for it.”